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Leadership & Staff | Course Directors | Clinical Supervisors | Research Collaborators

Leadership & Staff

Martha Dudek, MS CGC
Program Director
With more than 25 years of experience as a genetic counselor, Martha Dudek founded the Vanderbilt MGC in 2015 and has served as the program director ever since. Her clinical interests center on reproductive genetics, fetal abnormalities, and perinatal palliative care. As program director, she’s blazing trails in medical genetics education for learners at all levels. You’ll interact with her as course director for multiple courses such as, Genetic Counseling Pre-Practicum, Professional Issues 2 and Advanced Genetic Counseling but she’s also happy to talk with you specifically about genetic counseling in an Ob/Gyn setting.

Jill Slamon, MA MS CGC
Assistant Program Director
Jill Slamon brings significant science education experience from her years with Teach for America and designing STEM curriculum for inner city K-12 schools. Now she applies that education theory to her work as an MGC educator, teaching classes like Medical Genetics 1 , Medical Genetics 2, Genetic Counseling Pre-Practicum and Professional Issues in Genetic Counseling. Since joining Vanderbilt in 2011, Slamon has supported genetic counseling faculty in their own course direction and co-led curricular design for the MGC program.

Kyle W. Davis, Sc.M., CGC, CMPP
Assistant Director of Fieldwork
Kyle Davis is a board-certified genetic counselor with more than six years of experience. During his career, he has supervised students in laboratory settings at places like Bionano Genomics and Variantyx and served as a student mentor at Boise State and the University of Utah. With extensive experience in mentoring both genetic counseling students and graduates in a variety of positions and settings, he will connect you to rotations essential for your training with a cross-functional mindset.

Sonia Mitchell, BS

Sonia Mitchell
Program Coordinator
Sonia Mitchell will be your advocate and first point-of-contact for all things MGC. From individual course schedules to fun events with the whole cohort, she’ll help you build community within the MGC program and find your niche within the larger School of Medicine family. Don’t hesitate to reach out to her if you have questions about the MGC, life at VUSM, or Nashville in general.

Course Directors

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Karigynn Chaimson, MS MGC CGC
Karigynn Chaimson knows the Master of Genetic Counseling program well as a 2022 graduate. She guides students through the Medical Genetics 2 course in addition to Integrated Cases pre-practicum. She looks forward to helping students learn basic genetics concepts and how to communicate concepts effectively to patients and other providers.

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Brian Corner, MS CGC
Brian Corner comes to VUSM with five years of working experience as a genetic counselor in a wide variety of clinical and research contexts. His work spans pediatric, adult, prenatal, and NICU/PICU services. These experiences provide the basis for a thorough overview in the Foundations in Genetics and Genomics course. His familiarity with a variety of genomic software, tools, and databases will also help students learn how to generate and present data and research.

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Emily Franciskato, MGC CGC
Also a 2022 MGC graduate, Emily Franciskato will also provide students with the basis for their careers in Foundations of Genetics and Genomics. She understands the importance of mentorship and the Near-Peer model that helps MGC students find community and support during their studies. She has served as a reproductive genetic counselor since 2022 and looks forward to bringing her experiences to the classroom.





Brighton Goodhue, MS CGC
With clinical interests in reproductive genetics in a high-risk setting, Brighton Goodhue welcomes students to share their own interests through topics and journal club. She has served as an associate in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology since 2019, where she takes special interest in bridging gaps between pre-natal and post-natal care. Research involvement in alternative methods for genetic counseling and genetic education provide her students with a broader view of the field.

Gillian Hooker, PhD, ScM, CGC

Gillian Hooker, PhD ScM CGC

As the Chief Scientific Officer for clinical development at Concert Genetics, a health IT company based in Nashville,Tennessee, Dr. Hooker brings dual expertise in genetic research and industry settings. Dr. Hooker teaches two courses with the MGC (Research for Genetic Counselors and Theories of Human Experience) and is a past president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. Whether you’re interested in industry work, clinical research, or field leadership, Dr. Hooker exemplifies the breadth of possibilities within genetic counseling.

Caitlin Mann, MGC, CGC

Caitlin Mann, MGC CGC
Since joining the genetic counseling field, Caitlin Mann has been passionate about helping others find their niche within the field. Whether she’s guest-lecturing medical students in the ob/gyn core clerkship, teaching undergraduate seminars about genetics and parenthood, or reviewing your MGC thesis project proposal, Mann is constantly dedicated to learners of all levels and interests. At Vanderbilt, she’s also involved with research around informed consent for genetic testing and alternative models for providing genetic counseling. Caitlin is course director for Applied Genetic CounselingTheories of Human Experience and Advanced Genetic Counseling.

Lisa McGovern, LCSW

Lisa McGovern, LCSW
With over 25 years of experience as a social worker and therapist, Lisa McGovern has dedicated her career to helping people find interpersonal balance and improve relationships. In the MGC, she facilitates our Building a Self-Reflective Practice1 and Building a Self-Reflective Practice 2 classes, which will challenge you to think about your role as a medical professional and as a colleague. The skills she emphasizes— like metacognition, reflection, and empathy —will strengthen you in your future home and work life.

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Kate Mittendorf, PhD
Dr. Kate Mittendorf guides students through research, bringing extensive experience as a scientist. Having conducted doctoral-level research since 2015 with training in both quantitative and qualitative methods, Dr. Mittendorf aids students through each step of the research project, from inquiry to design, execution, and beyond. An active thesis advisor, Dr. Mittendorf knows the importance of mentorship and training for successful research.

Mackenzie Mosera, MAT MS MPH LCGC

Mackenzie Mosera, MAT MS MPH CGC
As course director for two crucial MGC courses (Medical Genetics I and Genomics in Public Health), Mackenzie Mosera draws on her current experience in pediatric genetic counseling, as well as her past years teaching elementary school science for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. At Vanderbilt, she continues to serve those impacted by hearing loss, and she’s currently a part of the Pulmonary Fibrosis research team.

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Janet Talbert, MS CGC
Janet Talbert brings 19 years of basic, clinical, and human subjects medical research to the MGC and to Research for Genetic Counselors II. She knows how to navigate Institutional Review Board (IRB) approvals, enrolling human subjects in genetic research programs, and the subsequent research process. A nationally-requested speaker for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, she also knows how to communicate research to educate physicians, allied health providers, patients, and families, teaching students how to do the same. Janet is a course director for our  Laboratory Sciences in Medical Genetics.

Kelly Taylor, MS, LCGC

Kelly Taylor, MS CGC
With over twenty years of experience as a clinical genetic counselor and researcher, Kelly Taylor is well-equipped to lead Research 1, Research 2 and Genetic Counseling Master Thesis.  You’ll take these courses here as an MGC trainee. Over her almost two decades of work with the Vanderbilt community, she’s been consistently dedicated to training the next generation of genetic counselors and maintains a special interest in ethical and legal issues within the field.

Ferrin C. Wheeler, PhD FACMG
Since joining the Vanderbilt community in 2011, Dr. Wheeler has served as an invaluable expert in clinical cytogenetics and molecular diagnostics in cancer. Her research investigates cytogenomic microarray analysis for developmental disorders and congenital anomalies, and she brings this expertise to bear as she leads the laboratory sciences portion of Medical Genetics. Interested in what a thriving research career in genetics might look like? Dr. Wheeler can provide insight.

Clinical Supervisors

Katherine Anderson, M.Sc CGC
Assistant in Medicine

JaLisa Decker, MS, CGC
Assistant in Pediatrics

Meredith Gerhart, MS, CGC
Associate in Medicine, Vanderbilt Hereditary Cancer Clinic

Angela Grochowsky, MD, FAAP, FACP, FACMG
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Arianna Guillard, MGC, CGC
Reproductive Genetic Counselor/Associate in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Mryia Hubert, MGC, CGC
Assistant in Medicine

Katie Lang, MS CGC
Senior Associate in Medicine

Lucas Richter, MM,MGC,CGC
Assistant in Medicine

Jeanette Saffir, MS, CGC
Associate in Pediatrics

Dora Siebold, MS, MA, CGC
Assistant in Pediatrics

Emily Solem, MS, CGC
Assistant in Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology

Sarah Stallings, PhD
Research Assistant Professor of Medicine

Samantha Stover, MS, CGC
Assistant in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine

Douglas Stubbs, MGC, CGC
Assistant in Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology

Brenda Zuniga, MS, CGC
Assistant in Medicine

Research Collaborators

Shilo Anders, PhD

Lisa Bastarache, MS

Terry Jo Bichell, PhD, MPH

Harris Bland, MPH, MBA

Bryce Brown, MS, LCGC

Ashley Cannon, MS, CGC, PhD

Nancy J. Cox, PhD

Lea K. Davis, PhD

Spencer Diehl, LCSW

Jessica Duis, MD

Laura Duncan, MS, CGC

Elizabeth Jasper, PhD

Stephanie Kraft, JD

Katherine McDonnell, MD

Paul Moots, MD

Tuya Pal, MD

Dan Roden, MD

Douglas Ruderfer, PhD

Nuala Summerfield, PhD

Georgia Wiesner, MD, MS